An Update of sorts on Works in Progress

bordermenWe currently have three products in various stages of production. The most high profile of these is Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game. We have, once again, made several minor changes (and a couple of major ones) to the system. I will give a more thorough accounting of its progress on occultdetective.com at a later date. Suffice to say, we’re still thrilled with where the game’s headed. There are just a lot of eyes to dot.

Our next wave of playtesting begins Saturday, September 9th.

As for Blood & Honour, our card and dice game of swordplay, is, I suspect, 50-75% finished, if you can believe it. We have made a stylistic change, marrying it more closely to what is our third project, but the meat of the game is the same. Basically we’re down to developing the look of the game so that it is in line with our Veroldnar Campaign Setting.

Speaking of which, Drakkarsys: A Veroldnar Chronicles Campaign Setting is the third project of which we speak.

In November we’ll be launching a separate site where we will slowly roll out our 5th Edition Campaign Setting.

It will be free, for all intents and purposes. Donations will be welcome, of course, and there will be tie-in items that will come up for sale now and then (such as Blood & Honour), but for the most part, the Campaign Setting site will be a free to use DM and PC resource.

Drakkarsys Ad

The above image is just a ‘place-holding’ mock-up, but you get the idea. Veroldnar is an extension of our evolution in collaborative storytelling. Yes, it’s D&D (though can be adapted for any system), but its also a whole lot more.

But I won’t spoil any of it for you. The new site launches soon, so watch for updates here and on our twitter feed.

 

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#RPGaDay Day 31: What do you anticipate most for gaming in 2018?

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Day 31: What do you anticipate most for gaming in 2018?

“Last day. Capricorn 15’s. Year of the city – 2274. Carousel begins.”

lastday

Okay, it’s nothing quite so dramatic, but we have reached the “Last Day” of RPGaDay 2017. It has been a thrilling month and a project I’m always happy to take part in. With all the negativity out here in the wild wild web, it’s nice to be a part of Autocratik’s brilliant attempt to inject positivity into our hobby.

Before I dive into today’s final answer, I would like to thank Anthony Boyd aka Runeslinger for once again being a terrific host for the event. If you’re not subscribed to Anthony’s YouTube channel you’re really missing out on some really thoughtful RPG discussion, critique, and evaluation.

But enough of all that, let’s get down to the business of sending off RPGaDay properly. The final question, What do you anticipate most for gaming in 2018?, is a great end-cap and I’m going to share with you three things I’m really looking forward to next year.

NUMBER THREE

asoi&ftmg2

While not exactly an RPG, I’m really looking forward to A Song of Ice & Fire: The Tabletop Miniatures Game hitting retail. It’s a game we backed via kickstarter and we’re excited to receive those rewards in April or so. We’re also looking forward to the release of more factions, units, and starter sets. But most of all, we’re just eager to play the game and to integrate it into what is my number two most anticipated part of gaming in 2018.

asoi&ftmg

 

NUMBER TWO

ohdndc

Next year, I anticipate beginning a new D&D 5E campaign and utilizing A Song of Ice & Fire: The Tabletop Miniatures Game to help bring Drakkarsys v2.0 to life. Based on a sword & sorcery / epic fantasy series I’ve been noodling with — The Veroldnar Chronicles — this next campaign will, I believe, be my final campaign in Dungeons & Dragons.

No, I’m not giving the game up. I’m in my early 50s. I’m anticipating taking my 40 years of D&D experience and poring it all into this campaign that will carry me to the grave. And I hope that this world that my friends and I will be building together will live on beyond me, with the torch being carried forward by future generations of players.

blood&honour

NUMBER ONE

bordermengames

The thing I’m most anticipating is getting Bordermen Games even further off the ground. With two games in various stages of production — Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game and Blood & Honour — Connor and I hope to make the push and get not one, but both out to the public, most likely via kickstarter.

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So, that’s it for 2017. I look forward to 2018 with great anticipation, not only for the top 3 things I’ve mentioned above, but for many more gaming-related marvels sure to rear their collective heads.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my contributions to this year’s RPGaDay. I know I’ve enjoyed many of yours and I look forward to trolling youtube catching up on many I missed.

Cheers.

#RPGaDay Day 30: What’s an RPG Mash-Up you’d like to see?

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Day 30: What’s an RPG Mash-Up you’d like to see?

A great question, and one my whole family had fun with. We discussed this at length last night before bed. Kim liked the idea of mixing History and Time Travel, while Connor liked the History idea, but with players assuming the roles of aliens visiting Earth throughout various points in time — sort of an Ancient Astronauts spin from the aliens’ perspective.

Both are great ideas. Mine ran a little closer to my comfort zone. It’s actually one I’ve had the idea for since the early 80s — a game/campaign centered around Bards.

Imagine, if you will, a Mummer’s Wagon pulling into a medieval-inspired village, the sides folding down to form a stage where this traveling troupe of roguish minstrels performed for rousing crowds.

Oh what adventures they could stumble upon. See, my model for just such an act is tailor-made for such proclivities. They were notorious raiders, infamous musicians of the highest caliber, and performed songs inspired by Lord of the Rings, Folklore, and Myth.

My RPG Mash-up is Tolkien-esque Fantasy and Led Zeppelin.

ZEPPARTY

I can’t believe we’re just one day away from RPGaDay 2017 coming to a close. It’s been a great month so far. Here’s to ending it on a high note.

Cheers — and Ramble On…

#RPGaDay Day 29: What’s the best run RPG Kickstarter you’ve backed?

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Day 29: What’s the best run RPG Kickstarter you’ve backed?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: my pockets are not deep. I’ve backed very few kickstarters, though I vocally support a lot of them. I want them to succeed, even if I can’t take part. So, before I mention what I have backed, I thought I’d spotlight two that I didn’t (and am kicking myself for missing out).

Trudvang Chronicles is an award-winning fantasy roleplaying game based on the mysterious and dark Nordic and Celtic sagas and myths. Enter a world of enchanted forests, trolls, dragons, spirits of nature, heroes and adventures. Trudvang is both grim and dark, epic and yet down to earth, with a melancholic tone of an ancient age when nature was a living creature and magic was wild and strong. Above all, Trudvang is a saga…

Sounds awesome, right? Well, here’s what I missed out on —

trudvang

My heart breaks, but not as much as this next missed opportunity.

Monte Cook’s Invisible Sun makes magic magical again. Magic’s not just a series of mechanics. It’s weird, wonderful, unpredictable, and dangerous. With spells and incantations like The Flock Scatters at the Sound of Teeth, Sharp Edges in the First Frost, and The Punishment of Change Comes to the Wary, magic is what the game is all about.

Sounds exciting, no? Like Pan’s Labyrinth meets Doctor Strange. It gets weirder. Take a look at what you’d have gotten with a pledge —

invisiblesun

A little part of me just died.

But hey, like I said, I’ve backed a couple of kickstarters via my gaming group.

Robert E. Howard’s Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of was a brilliant campaign, full of excellent core and splat books, maps, screens, and more. As a lifelong Howard fan, this was a no-brainer for me, and thus far, Modiphius has delivered a beautiful collection of products.

Here’s what was offered —

conankickstarter

My favorite kickstarter, though, wasn’t really an RPG per se.

A Song of Ice & Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game is a competitive miniatures game for two or more players. Each player controls one of the Great Houses of Westeros, commanding battlefield units, recruiting legendary Heroes, and manipulating the political stage, in the attempt to claim the greatest prize of all: The Iron Throne. Featuring House Stark and House Lannister, the Starter Set comes with over one hundred amazing, preassembled miniatures that are ready to play out of the box! All-new sculpts are based off original art created for the game by our crew under the direct supervision of George R.R. Martin and Dark Sword Miniatures, to ensure that the game delivers what fans have been envisioning for years.

Yeah, so my group will be modifying the game quite a bit, adding our own elements and introducing it into our RPG Campaign. Here’s what we got for our pledge —

gotkick

Uh, yeah, that campaign was run almost flawlessly, despite all the grumbling on the campaign messageboard. In the end, we received an enormous value for our money. The years of enjoyment that lie ahead for our gaming group is priceless.

#RPGaDay for 2017 is winding down. Only two questions remain.

 

 

#RPGaDay Day 28: What film/series is the most quoted in your group?

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Day 28: What film/series is the most quoted in your group?

This might just be my favorite question of the month.

As I suspect is true of most gaming groups, the Oak Hill Dungeons & Dragons Club mines pop culture frequently and quotes (sometimes lengthy ones) can occur at almost any moment within the game. Picking the most frequently quoted source is a difficult one, because they are so many and varied.

Seinfeld is a common source — “Newman!”, “And you want to be my latex salesman”, “Now I’m driving the bus”, et cetera, ad nauseum.

There’s also plenty of Star Wars and Indiana Jones references.

And, of course, Lost still gets plenty of love at the table.

But I think, the film that tips the scales has got to be Tombstone —

Honorable Mention? While it’s not quoted from as much these days, back in the early years of our gaming we quoted the hell out of a particular film. A bit of a cliché, but true just the same.

#RPGaDay Day 27: What are your essential tools for good gaming?

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Day 27: What are your essential tools for good gaming?

When I first thought about this question, my focus was on physical items, and I will address a few of these, but Runeslinger’s Day 27 blog entry helped broaden my perspective.

So, here’s my top three tools for good gaming —

The number one tool I bring to the table is creating rich, textured and immersive narratives. I populate my games with layered sub-plots and a huge cast of non-player characters.

dmbob

On the physical side of things, my homebrewed game menu has become a must-have for me. It’s a three-fold restaurant menu that I’ve populated with tables and charts of poisons, traps, tavern menus, skill check modifiers, and the like. You can pick them up used for next to nothing, or new for less than $20.

The third item is a customized initiative tracker that hangs on my DM screen. In addition to the player’s order of play, I include their passive perception, armour class, and a few other useful stats. It really helps keep the narrative flow going, especially in combat situations.

So, that’s my quick answer for today. In closing, I’ll share with you a game hack that will help improve your game. I recommend purchasing a Tally Counter. They’re cheap (less than $10) and a great way to keep track of rounds for spell effects and such.

#RPGaDay Day 26: Which RPG provides the most useful resources?

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Day 26: Which RPG provides the most useful resources?

These days, with the exception of those games we have in development, I am all but exclusively a Dungeons & Dragons guy. It’s what my friends prefer, and while I’d be more than happy to play other genres, I love D&D and its 5th Edition rule-set.

My primary beef with Wizards of the Coast is their cautious approach. A company that I feel is a model for how a game company should be, aggressive and ambitious, is Paizo. Now they don’t always make the best choices, in my opinion, but they have a clear, branded message and veritable mountain of merchandise and resources to delve into.

pathfinder

I do not play Pathfinder, but I sure do buy my fair share of their stuff. In my gaming arsenal I have a ton of Pathfinder minis (especially Pathfinder goblins), pawns, map packs, and flip-maps.

I own the corebook, bestiaries, and several of their adventure paths, modules, and campaign settings.

I read their comics (while avoiding the recent D&D books), have read a few of their novels, and have decks of cards and other useful odds and ends.

They have apps, an active web presences, and online resources that are above and beyond.

It’s really a shame I can’t stand the overly bogged down bloat of the 3.5 Edition rules, but they get plenty of my money because they’re giving me what, I think, Wizards should — stuff, stuff, and more stuff.

Wizards is seemingly coming around. The thing is, they seem just a little bit too greedy. I’m looking at you D&D Beyond.

So, yeah, Paizo seems to be the best at providing what players want and need. Hopefully, Wizards is getting the hint.